The weather is turning colder and the season for giving is in the air. You have cranked up the heat and it is getting nice and cozy inside… Well, look out! The animals outside may be looking for a place to take shelter and they are defiantly not going to be paying any rent.

Squirrels are the most common type of animal to find their way into your attic. And although there are several species of squirrels, the Eastern Gray Squirrel is the most common.

Squirrels are rodents and their specialty is chewing. They will chew on anything…in fact; they have to in order to keep their teeth filed down. Once they chew their way into your house, they will chew on everything they can find…one of them even being electrical wires (hello, fire hazard!) Many times squirrels are looking for a safe place to have babies. And once they find that place, be it your attic or a tree, they will return each year to have another litter and create more damage. Squirrels give birth to two litters per year, one in the summer and one in the winter.

Squirrels are diurnal (meaning they are active during the daytime.) If you hear noises during the mornings and evenings, you’ve most likely got squirrels. The noise is usually a fast scurrying sound coming from the attic or inside the walls.. Many times you’ll even hear them rolling nuts around!

Ok, so how exactly did they get into your home? It’s not like you took out an ad saying “Attic space for lease.” Truth is, squirrels can fit into pretty small holes. As small as an inch and a half in diameter. But, just for kicks, they usually chew the hole bigger for easier access. And they can climb up pretty much anything, so the entry hole can be anywhere. They like to take advantage of construction gaps and almost all homes have these. Once they have an entry hole, they will use the same one over and over again to come and go.

And like any unwanted house guest, the mess that squirrels leave behind will not be nice. To start you will find hundreds of droppings in your attic. The droppings will look like fat little brown grains of rice and are about a third of an inch long each. You could also find nesting debris, trails all throughout the insulation, and even chewed on wood and electrical wires.
So, OK, you have squirrels…what do you do? Well, let me start by saying that there are no scents, such as mothballs or ammonia that will make them leave. And neither will ultrasonic sound emitters or strobe lights! The animals have to be removed and the structure must be sealed (known as a full exclusion in the industry) so that they cannot return…otherwise, they will! At Georgia PAWS, we thoroughly seal all entry points around the entire roof line of the house. We, then, use one-way exclusion traps that let them exit the attic, but not get back in. Next we clean the attic of droppings, which could mean going as far as replacing the insulation (read more about that on our attic restoration page). Finally, the attic gets a nice fogging of DSV (disinfectant, sporicide, virucide) which helps prevent the spread of disease and removes the animal scent which can attract future animals into the home.

For more information and to schedule a free inspection, call us at 678-313-3781.